Week 16: NY Jets vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, Dec. 26, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Back home a day after Christmas, the Jets face off against the quarterback many fans wished for under their Christmas tree a year ago — Trevor Lawrence.
To many people's surprise, this game did not kick off the season, and barring a shocking turn of events, this game will not be on in primetime.
Leading into the schedule release, the Jets-Jaguars contest seemed like a natural contender as a high-profile early-season game.
As crazy as that sounds for two teams that combined for three wins last season, there was some cache to Jacksonville and New York playing at the start of the NFL season.
Instead, with both franchises playing in Week 16, what many are getting is a "where are they now?" game featuring Urban Meyer, Trevor Lawrence, Robert Saleh, and Zach Wilson.
It's a let's see how far they have progressed matchup. And that's precisely what this game will represent.
On paper, this looks like a draft positioning game for 2022, but if either one of these two quarterbacks has their team in playoff contention by this point, Lawrence or Wilson will have achieved immortal status.
Week 17: NY Jets vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
The new year rings in as Tom Brady returns to MetLife as the villain, but in a new uniform with the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Buccaneers' defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is also returning to face the franchise that fired him seasons ago. Both Brady and Bowles return as champions.
Out of all the games on the Jets schedule, this is the most curious of them all. By this point, many expect Tampa to be in No. 1 seed contention in the NFC, while others believe that the Jets will have nothing to play for come January.
The fascinating element to this scheduling is that Tampa may have already locked in their playoff seeding at this point. So it's possible that one of the league's most marquee teams also has nothing to play for.
Something tells me that Tom Brady, Todd Bowles, and the Bucs will still be motivated regardless, just because their opponent is the Jets.